A couple weekends ago, my friend Lexi hosted brunch for a group of friends before she left for New York.
The theme was “Brunch with Inspring Ladies” and Lexi wanted us all to feel comfortable and open to conversation (we were recording an episode of her podcast, AMPsConnected!….more details to come), so she asked everyone to bring a comfort food. I brought my beloved mac and cheese because it gets rave reviews and is one of the few recipes I know…. I’m learning.
Lexi is a world-traveler, but Lousiana is her home and she enjoys southern-style food. She made shrimp etouffe pie, and red beans and rice and Veronica brought her Cheesy Grits.
Although we’re from the mid-west, I grew up seeing my family eat grits, but honestly I never wanted to try them, because of the consistency.
When I saw how nicely Veronica’s grits baked and cut into solid square servings, I thought I would give them a try. The cheese, green onions & (the best part) REAL bacon bits were also a selling point!
Veronica was nice enough to share her mom’s recipe with Style and Savings readers:
Prep and Cook Time Total: Approximately 1 hour
1- Cook a pot of grits, seasoning the grits with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. (Your grits should be thick, not thin because once they are done you will be adding 6 beaten eggs to them before baking.) Spread your grits into a large, deep baking pan that has been coated well with butter.
2- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
3- In a separate small pan, caramelize a large sweet onion
Tip: ( I usually cut them into diced pieces and brown them well or you can cut them into rings then place them on a plate and dice them into small pieces, and set them aside.)
4- Season your 6 beaten eggs with Lawry’s Seasoning Salt, Onion Powder and Black Pepper. Stir the seasoned beaten eggs right into the grits, mixing well.
5- Add a good portion of the shredded sharp cheddar cheese (the cheesier, the better), and the caramelized sweet onions
6- Blend this mixture well, right in your baking pan, adding about 4 to 6 medium sized pats of butter to make sure that your grits won’t be too dry
Tip: (if your grits are still warm when you start mixing in the other ingredients, that’s fine, because that heat will melt the butter into the grits and flavor them.
7- Making sure your mixture is evenly spread in your pan, cover it with foil and seal all around, before putting it into the oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the eggs are thoroughly cooked.
Tip: You don’t want the grits to brown too much, just slightly…you can check them after 15 minutes and add more cheese to the top
8- Top it off with chopped scallions and bacon bits.